The Government has announced that the Future High Streets Fund has increased from £675 million in the Autumn 2018 Budget to £1 billion and now forms part of a £3.6 billion Towns Fund open to 100 designated towns.

The immediate effect of the Future High Streets Fund extension is that 50 additional towns who applied for funding in the first round of bidding will now be eligible for up to £150,000 of revenue funding to support the development of detailed bids.

Announcing the additional funding, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said "Our high streets are right at the heart of our communities, and I will do everything I can to make sure they remain vibrant places where people want to go, meet and spend their money."

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: "High streets have a crucial role to play as we work to grow the economy of all parts of the country. Our £1 billion Future High Streets Fund is key to delivering this, empowering local leaders to help transform their high streets and town centres as consumer habits change, by investing in housing, workplaces, infrastructure and culture.

"Interest in the Fund has been huge, and with so many strong applications, I am extending the number of towns moving forward to the next phase and getting a chance to develop their proposals. The government is going to level-up our regional economies and as Communities Secretary I am proud to be driving this agenda forward."

The additional locations now through to the next round of the bidding process include city centres such as Plymouth, Southampton and Salisbury, major centres including Barnsley, Carlisle and Middlesbrough and many smaller centres such as Bacup, Grays, and Loftus. The full list of places is available here.

News update: On the 4th September, the Government announced that 100 designated towns would be eligible to bid for up to £25 million each to transform their economic growth prospects with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture. A prospectus to guide towns through the process and set eligibility criteria will shortly be published.